Congress claims credit for decision on disability pension

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday took credit for the Union government’s decision to reatin disability pension based on percentage system, saying “the government woke up” only after party Vice President Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Post public outrage and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s letter to the Prime Minister, Modi government has finally woken up from earlier web of denial to redress the all important issue of arbitrarily reducing disability pension for injuries suffered in combat,” said Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.

“A gross wrong done to our armed forces has been undone, though belatedly and after huge hue and cry,” he added.

The Defence Ministry on Saturday ordered implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission’s (CPC) recommendations for revision of pension of pre-2016 Defence Forces Pensioners, but confirmed that the disability pension component will be paid based on percentage system until the pay panel’s Anomaly Committee comes out with a solution.

The BJP-led NDA government faced widespread criticism from opposition parties and the military establishment for introducing a slab-based system, as recommended by the CPC, for determining the disability pension for defence forces.

The Congress also urged the Modi government to take a cue and address other issues raised by Rahul Gandhi regarding injustice meted out to the armed forces.

“The implementation of OROP, the settlement of anomalies of 7th Central Pay Commission and deliberate reduction of Army ranks vis-a-vis their civilian counterparts continue to remain as reasons of dissatisfaction and outrage,” said Surjewala

“We urge upon Modiji for fast resolution of these issues on behalf of the people of India, veterans and serving men and women of the armed forces,” he added.